September 13, 2013

Remembering the Kanji 3 Poster

I love my kanji poster. While I was working through Remembering the Kanji 1, that poster was equal parts encouraging and despair-inducing. Now that I'm done, seeing all the kanji I've conquered gives me a great sense of accomplishment. It doubles as a nice conversation starter. And triples as a neat gift: I have given kanji posters to several friends studying Japanese.

My only complaint is that there is no poster for the Remembering the Kanji 3 set. It took me a long time to work through those 965 characters, so I certainly want that badge on my wall too! For good measure I would of course want the additional 23 characters from the new 常用漢字 that are missing from my editions of RTK.

At some point, a friend mentioned a print shop called Large Format Posters (now UPrinting). That gave me the final push to make my own RTK3 poster. I tried to match the font (I used ヒラギノ明朝 ProN) and spacing of the original kanji poster as best I could. Unfortunately the one on my wall is a bit blurry because I foolishly produced a 72dpi PDF instead of a 300dpi one.

Here is the (corrected) PDF I prepared you can use to make an RTK3 poster for you and yours.

After my RTK3 poster arrived in the mail, I went to Staples to get it laminated. Unfortunately the print shop I used didn't offer that service. They had no trouble with a poster of this size, but I was less than thrilled about the results. The plastic they use is not as good for dry-erase markers as the original kanji poster is; it is more difficult to fully erase. They also left way too much margin when they cut it, so I had to do some additional trimming myself. And finally, there are some small creases in the paper that will never come out.

All told, it cost about $45. Most of the cost was in printing and shipping the poster. The lamination was $10.

What I've made is certainly acceptable. But if the kanji poster people ever make the RTK3 poster, I'll be first in line to buy it.

All my posters

Note: The small paper on the left is the current set of kanji I'm working on now. I decided to continue with the 人名用漢字 and 漢字検定準1級 lists from "Beyond RTK3". I printed out a regular 8.5"x11" sheet at home and am just using pen to track my progress. If I ever hit another big milestone, I will spring for another large, laminated poster. But I doubt that day is coming any time soon!

RTK3 poster

RTK3 poster detail